VANCOUVER _ New road signs have been unveiled on the University of British Columbia’s Point Grey campus honouring the linguistic heritage of the Musqueam First Nation and its location within unceded, traditional Indigenous territory.
The signs are posted on nine major streets on the west-side Vancouver campus and supplement English names with those in the traditional language of the Musqueam people.
Each sign includes the name created by language experts from the Musqueam community and are written in a phonetic alphabet developed to represent the sounds.
The university website says the Musqueam language uses a place-based directional system which refers to the land and flow of water, such as upriver or downriver, rather than directions such as north, south, east and west.
University Boulevard, the main east-west access to the campus, has been renamed Place for Traditional Instruction, West Mall has been translated as Facing the Mountain and Lower Mall, closest to the ocean, is called West Wind.
The university says in an online post that names chosen by Musqueam give insight into their perception of place and movement across the land, and also demonstrate how language and culture is tied to the Musqueam territory.